Regions — Northern France – Picardie

Region at a glance

Major City: Amiens

Short trip from Paris, Six gothic cathedrals
World War I memorials, Castles

Picardy, where Clovis made Soissons the first capital of the Franks in 486, is the first region and the historical beginning of France. The harmonious region is still predominantly rural with an unobtrusive art of living that has developed over the centuries.

Calm woods, great forests, green pastures and quiet ponds blend with the peaceful, simple lifestyle of its people.

It is the birthplace of Gothic architecture with six cathedrals, the largest of which is located in Amiens. The town of Chantilly is credited with the invention of whipped cream. Senlis offers a true taste of an unspoiled French village.

Prehistoric sites, Gallo-roman remains, abbeys, churches, castles and WWI battle sites bear vivid witness to this region's rich history.

Places of interest

Abbeville      Church of Saint-Vulfran, Bagatelle Chateau, Somme Bay natural reserve.
Amiens      Birthplace of Robespierre, town hall, grand square of narrow houses with underground passages
Aisne      Surrounded by 60 fortified churches
Chantilly      Horse capital of the world
Chateau Thierry      Medieval castle, WWI American cemetery
Laon      12th century cathedral, WWI trenches, Vauclair Abbey
Saint Quentin      11th to 18th century basilica, 16th century town hall
Soissons      Cathedral of Saint Jean des Vignes, National Museum of the Franco-American Cooperation in the Blérancourt Chateau
Senlis      Gothic cathedral

Technical tourism and sports

Pottery and laces, horticulture
Horseback riding, hiking, cycling, self-drive boating and golf.


Fresh fish and seafood is popular in this region. A favorite local dish is Carbonnade Flamande, beef and onions cooked in beer. Also popular is chicory flavored coffee.

Travel Discounts for France